peeks into my life dealing with everyday life and obstacles as well as obstacles of dealing with disabilities and accessibility obstacles, Chronic Pain due to broken spinal rods, living on pain medications, dealing with anxiety/depression, experiencing the newness of love, and fighting for my right to live and love my life in an ableist society.
My fiance and I had made plans to originally go to another parade this weekend, however upon waking up, my body decided to ruin that: sinus allergies, major migraines, back pain, and spasms; However, I found a way to not let it keep me down.
Sure, we didn’t go to the parade, but instead of moping and letting it ruin my day, I found a fun way to entertain myself; and all I needed was some mardi gras beads and my dog.
“How can that possibly be more fun than going out and socializing at a parade?” Well, as much fun as a parade is with the socializing and being with people, I wouldn’t have really enjoyed it because I was feeling so miserable with my health; but here at home in the warmth, I can have my own parade. Just me and my dog, who probably thought her mom had completely lost her mind. haha!
I took some beads and put on my pandora music and started dancing (yes I was hurting, but just swaying side to side and side-stepping, isn’t much to hurt), and took some beads and started throwing them around- once they landed on the floor, Beignet, would go over and sniff at them.
After throwing a few beads, I then took some and put them on Beignet like she had caught them. However, I think her favorite was when I brought out a light-up rubber boomerang I had gotten at the Rio Parade last weekend; In Hinds sight, I should’ve known she would love this item because she LOVES her frisbees! As soon as I pulled out the boomerang, that little nub of her crooked tail started wagging and her butt then began its “wiggle”. I tossed it to the couch a few times, but I didn’t wanna risk breaking stuff in the house, so we went into the backyard for a couple of tosses until I got too cold and was like “Okay B, Time to go in. We can play with the boomerang more tomorrow when the sun is out and hopefully warmer.”
As soon as we came in, I put the boomerang out of reach so that she wouldn’t destroy it (Power Chewer problems Lol) and she just sat near where I had put it out of reach and whined and whined until she realized I was not gonna relent and she went lay down and is now fast asleep.
Sure, I could’ve had some fun at the parade maybe, but I had a lot of fun here- just me, my fiance (who after helping me do some housework and he did yard work, is now enjoying his free time playing his video games), the cats outside in their warm (lighted) cat box/makeshift house, and Beignet- whose “mom” uses her for her own entertainment-but she knows I love her. ❤
Anyway, hope everyone else has a great rest of their weekend and remember: Don’t let life keep you down. Find a little fun in anything at all, smile, and that can turn everything around!
Being from Louisiana, I know a good party; and Mardi Gras season is not just about partying before Ash Wed. and lent season; No, not at all: to a child, Mardi Gras is a magical time where beads and candy are thrown from parade floats, getting tons of junk from vendors peddling carts that you don’t need but want, music and bands that you clap and dance around to. When you are a pre-teen and think you know everything, you go off by yourself with your friends (at least in Lafayette daytime parades). As an adult, this is not nearly as fun because you get pelted right in the face, (whereas when you are a child, the adults catch the beads, and if you were as spoiled a child as I was, many adults would catch and give beads to me.), when you have whiney kids begging and crying for the junk on the carts (karma is a butt LOL) or because they didn’t get any “catches” from one float or any “good catches” like toys and such (and for some strange reason, at least in my case, the older I get, the worse my anxiety and nerves get). Then there is also the yummy sugary goodness of the season also known as King Cake! YUM! King Cake is Mana from heaven itself (LOL Just kidding); in all seriousness, King cake is is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. King cakes may also be filled with additional foodstuffs- the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry, etc. King cakes also usually put a little plastic baby in the cake to represent baby Jesus; and in Louisiana, the person who finds the baby is required to purchase the next king cake.
Mardi Gras was so much fun for me as a child and I have many humorous stories about it. When I was a young child, Dad worked in Oilfield as a service manager or technician manager at Sola Communications. Sola Comm., as we often called it, would have an area for their employees to pitch a tent (or a few tents) and lay blankets on the ground in front of UL Lafayette’s Maxim Doucet building off of Johnson Street and across from St Mary Street. They would have so much yummy food, mostly BBQ, and chips and such (I had a sensitive stomach so I would usually bring picnic sandwich from home). There was a girl around my age (her dad worked with my dad); I can’t remember her name, but that was my play-friend for the parades: stood together for the parades, catching beads together, when parades weren’t going all (because we were there all day until early evening) we’d play chase or hide and seek from the adults, or we’d go walk down to the “junk on carts” with our money from our parents(She always made sure no one shoved or pushed me by accident, or any other way that I could’ve gotten hurt.) we just had a lot of fun together.
I remember one year specifically; I was in second grade, I believe: A lot of things happened that one year: My brother spray painted my hair green, I got a lot of beads (thanks to Jared, his girlfriend at the time, Dad, and some of Dad’s really tall co-workers). Dad scared the “be-jeepers” out of me, and Mom got so drunk that Dad had to put the child lock on the windows.
I remember we had 3 cans of colored hair spray: Purple, yellow, and green; I wanted purple, but Jared (being the jerk that he was at the time) thought it’d be hilarious to give me green hair instead; I was a brat, so when I saw what he had done, I had a full on meltdown: crying, hitting him, throwing stuff at him, etc. Mom was the same way she is now, “Jamie, it isn’t that big a deal,” (and I agree with her now that I am an adult), but I’ve always been one for being melodramatic about stuff (I’m a girl so of course I’m dramatic!)
Dad always loved to get me “all wound up” and aggravated (I honestly think, he believes that it is his one job in life), but this one year when I was in second grade, he honestly went overboard or maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, I honestly don’t know; but, anyway, my friend and I were running around playing hide and seek behind the pillars near Maxim Doucet building: I had my back turned and was looking around, Dad somehow snuck up behind me and put his hands over my mouth like he was a kidnapper! (Talk about scary, right?!) I wriggled and kicked and squirmed, crying my eyes out; once he brought me near our spot, he put me down and turned me to face him. I was so upset! I was calling him a jerk and all kinds of stuff. He told me “that is how easy it is for someone to kidnap you! You weren’t even together (talking about me and my friend); separated from each other, makes it a lot easier to kidnap one of y’all!” Let’s just say, after that incident, I never wandered off too far without my friend being next to me.
On the way home that same evening, Dad had to put mom’s windows on Child lock. She had been drinking crown Royal Whiskey all day and was totally drunk! She must have thought she was in a parade or something because next thing we all know, she is throwing beads out of her window, into the tailgates of pickup trucks and pissing other drivers off: and making me cry in the backseat because she is throwing all of “my purple” beads; I didn’t care about the other beads, just don’t throw the purple, momma!
That was such a fun and funny Mardi gras, although going to parades with my godfather, his family, and his friends, is a lot of fun too! We once went to New Orleans for Mardi gras in 2006, right after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita—that was also memorable. We took my grandmother, Maw-Maw Verdine Meche with us, there was this big biker looking dude (later found out he was gay –but I hold no judgments against him about that, LOL) the kids and I were bored waiting for the parades, so we broke some old beads we found on the ground, and took the little ball beads and were throwing them at people; this biker dude played along and soon we were having a broken bead war—us against him and his friends. LOL! Another memory which was probably scary for mom was the fact, I kept wandering off to the front of the barricades (leaving them somewhere in the middle); there was this couple who were Latino heritage I think, and they would give me the beads they caught, along with one of the older grandparents who still could move and dance without breaking a hip, would try to dance with the high school dancers ( I think he was pretty drunk!), but we ended up with a lot of beads and “good throws” that year. Do You want the big stuff? Go to New Orleans for Mardi gras!
We are all from Louisiana, so we all pretty much know how to have a good party; Just have the right food, the right music, cute kids, and lots of drinking and king cake….hell, sometimes, you’d think our party was the parade with the lot of us all dancing! Like we say in Louisiana, Laissez Les Bon temps roulez, which is Cajun French for “Let the good times roll,” and in Louisiana, we do just “dat!”
We had nothing left in the fridge and around noon I started to get hungry. I quickly seasoned up some chicken breasts and cut them into bite size pieces, put some oil in the skillet and grilled/sauteed some chicken despite already having planned a meal for supper with chicken- Baked Chicken Parmesan. Oh well. David didn’t complain and both meals came out good. I’ll probably defrost some ground meat to make tacos Tuesday night.
Now, my joints ache and everything hurts, not just from being on my feet cooking, but also we have some rain predicted for later and that affects my body as well. Just another average day in my life.
Being a “Cajun” girl from central Louisiana, I have a passion for cooking, but sadly I cannot do it often because due to Chronic pain, I cannot stay on my feet long or I suffer extreme chronic back pain afterward.
Today, I was tired of using my crockpot or “baking” meals and David has been cooking for the last few months. I remembered I enjoyed chicken in a mango chutney but the recipe I had eaten last time was with stir-fry and I don’t know how to do stir fry (and don’t have a wok anyway,) so I improvised and made it into a gravy. The first thing I did was cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces and seasoned/marinated them in a mixture of Savory, Tony Chachere’s, Cayenne pepper, White pepper, black pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, ground mustard and liquid mustard (Dijon), some squirt of honey, some brown sugar, a tiny little “spill” of cola-soda, and some minced garlic.
Next, I browned the chicken on the stove. While the chicken was browning, I cut up onions and green bell pepper. Once the chicken was browned, I added in onions, green bell pepper, and some roasted red bell pepper that I had in the fridge, and let it all simmer together.
Once the onions and bell pepper was softened in with the browned chicken, I added in the mango chutney and let it all simmer together to form a thick gravy; however, it wasn’t thickening to how I wanted, so I added in a little pinch of flour.
I followed no recipe. I never follow a recipe. When I feel something would be good in a dish, I just follow my gut instincts. It is like I have a “sixth sense” for cooking. I enjoy it and it relaxes me. To me it is an artistic expression, however, I sure could do without the back aching afterward from being on my feet so long. It’s a whole pain pill kind of night, but the meal was so worth it.
So a lot of People have no issues with Disney movies or children’s programming promoting heterosexual “need a man/prince,” mentality, but as soon as something airs with homosexual relations, everyone that is crazy traditional religious is all up in arms and “grab your pitchforks and torches, burn the blasphemers.” It’s 2019 people, there should be no more homophobia, transphobia, disability-phobia, dwarf-phobia, racism, sexist ideas, or any of that stuff. The old testament was before Jesus’ time, the new testament was around Jesus teachings but actually written by “followers” of Jesus. Who knows, they could have thrown in their own views or maybe when it was translated from Hebrew or whatever language, something got “lost in translation.” I mean, think about it, Jesus hung out with the sinners, prostitutes, the “scum of the scum,” as people viewed them. He taught love and acceptance. Not trying to change their ways by saying “You’re GOING TO HELL!” he did it through love, he made them want to turn from their sins, not try to force it.
Today there was an article on WAFB Channel 9 about a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Episode that featured the character, Scootaloo, being looked after by her same-sex couple aunts; Aunt Holiday and Aunt Lofty. First, it was Arthur about Mr. Ratburn and a gay wedding, and now this. People were all pissed about both “It isn’t appropriate for children,” “Protect our children,” “Satan’s agenda,” blah blah blah.
I may have been brought up Catholic all my life, and I still love my religion, faith, and God almighty, but the organization has its own faults ..*Cough* *Cough* Pedo Priests getting frisky with the altar boys or whatever. We are all human, we all have faults, we all sin.
But the media are doing things like this to try to be relatable and give representation to minorities and their families: Homosexuals(The child or the parents), bi-racial (parents or child), single-parent households, being raised by someone other than parents (Grandparents/uncles/aunts/cousins, adopted, orphaned, fostered, etc.), transsexuals (parents or child), those with disabilities. With more representation and showing that these people aren’t weirdos or “freaks,” and that they are just like everyone else and shouldn’t be targeted, harassed, bullied, etc. over stuff they can’t control.
Since a lot of parents tend to shove their ideas and beliefs down their children’s throats, and not teach their kids to not be little assholes, its up to society to also push in some compassion and empathy because there are many walks of life and no one should be bullied to the point of trauma, depression, homicide, or suicide.
A bad storm passed through Louisiana this week so it has been quite a bit of sleepless nights for me lately and then add in the dreaded once a month bullshit us females have to deal with, adding in stress, anxiety, hormones, emotional roller coaster, all that (sarcastic tone) “fun.” Tonight, I tossed and turned for 2 hours while my fiance’ just lays next to me snoring; sure, I could wake him up and make him suffer with me, but that is selfish plus he works to provide for us, so I guess he needs the sleep more than I do, but it sure would be nice to be able to talk these things out instead of blogging them.
I have a mattress that can elevate the head, it helps with migraines and sometimes my upper back (then I gotta deal with my lower back and hips hurting), but tonight my upper back is hurting and I am not even gonna use the head-elevation because lately it has been making my fiance’ back hurt in the morning; which sent me down the dreaded “rabbit hole” of the uncertainty of a future together: What if I become bed-ridden, what if he has to help me with everything more than he does now? That isn’t what he signed on for! It isn’t fair to him. I know he made a commitment to me and he constantly reminds me of it anytime I start crying and freaking out about how much pain I am in and the fears that sends into me about how uncertain my life and future are; I just don’t want him to have regrets or resentments. I love him, I really do, but when these fears kick in, I go into flight mode and tend to push him away, thinking I am saving him from being stuck in a sucky future with me and my damn disability. How can I expect him to accept it and what it does to me, if I cant even accept it completely myself?
If there was a pill created to make me “normal,” like everyone else in society, I would take it! Even though I also feel like having my disability has made me a well-rounded, wise, empathetic, compassionate, supportive, loyal, passionate person. Does it make me a bad person? Why is it I can be a support system and cheerleader for others with disabilities but yet I cant even accept myself completely? Does it make me a hypocrite? Maybe its just the pain talking; well the pain and the damn devil. I need to really work on myself and loving myself for me; whole-y and completely. Maybe after my surgery to fix my rods, maybe my pain will be better, and I can start being happy again. One can only hope.